When introducing new customers to our incredible collection of carpets, our Architectural collection constantly catches the eye. In this week’s Staff Pick, we will be examining Strata. Intriguing audiences with its large-scale architectural design, keep reading to discover the process of creating this unique piece, the inspiration for its design, and a detailed description of its composition.
Constructed in true Orley Shabahang fashion, Strata has Persian tradition woven deep into its pile. Using the Orley Shabahang exclusive Cheshmeh weave, Strata utilizes Persian weaving techniques to craft the luxurious pile. Wool, shorn from the Persian fat-tailed sheep, must be hand-spun. Hand-spinning the yarn creates the fabulous abrash found within the background of the carpet or their motifs. Also, hand-spinning wool retains the natural lanolin within the fibers, which may become destroyed through machine spinning. The hand-spun yarn must be dyed using traditional organic materials. Still preferred by weavers, organic dyes produce vibrant and fade-resistant hues. The once dyed yarn is then washed through natural spring water to remove excess color and then dried in the sun to set the patina in the wool. After the wool is dried and the patina sets, master weavers begin knotting the pile onto the cotton warp and weft foundation. Though Strata’s creation may appear archaic and tedious to an observer, Orley Shabahang continues to create hand-knotted carpets this way to craft the antique heirlooms of tomorrow.
Like generations of Persian carpet weavers before him, owner and lead designer Bahram Shabahang draws inspiration for his contemporary designs from his surroundings. For Strata, Bahram loved the movement of waves crashing over the rocky shores of Lake Michigan. The circular shapes of the shoreline and the different textures that Lake Michigan presents as waves get closer to the shore intrigued him. As a trained architect, Bahram understands the importance of texture and began to imagine how the shoreline would look from a bird’s-eye-view. Eight months later, Bahram Shabahang’s Strata was completed.
This version of Strata measures 2’7” x 5’4” and consists of a hand-knotted pile detailed with steel gray, dark brown and cream hand-spun wool. The cream wool provides the perfect background tone for Strata’s rocky detailing. The design begins with six rows of circular motifs, detailed by dark brown and steel gray wool, characterized by alternating linear and bull’s eye motifs. The center of the piece utilizes a ‘W’ stylized motif, detailed in dark brown yarn, and signifies the wave caps right before crashing into the lake’s shoreline. The bottom third represents waves that have crashed onto shore and have receded into the lake. Large oval motifs, detailed by a repetitive dark brown cross and a rectangular pattern, sit atop the steel gray background. Flowing effortlessly throughout the design, the depiction of waves through a textile medium is awe-inspiring.
With hundreds of different styles of carpets, including our Architectural collection, orleyshabahang.com is the best place to find your next area carpet. If you enjoyed Strata, and want to find additional architectural options, click HERE. And make sure to check out our digital showroom at 1stdibs.com.